Belfast’s doom heads were out in force for this evening bringing together three of the finest exponents of the art on the local scene, with headliners Black Magician having headed over from England for the start of a brace of gigs on this side of the Irish Sea.
Dublin trio Tome have a sound characterized by rich, distorted driving bass, and traditional early Sabbath-style, with touches of Electric Wizard and Saint Vitus thrown in for good measure, combined with an interesting and effective use of harmonized vocals and quickly win over the slowly growing crowd and certainly will warrant them a return north of the border, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Although only going for less than 18 months, Mid-Ulster’s Astralnaut have rapidly established a great reputation in this part of the world, thanks mainly to a pair of excellent releases – their debut EP ‘Back To The Bog’ and the follow-up ‘Emerald Lord Of Pleasure’ single – and their powerful live shows. Tonight is no exception, demonstrating vocalist Thomas Mallon’s excellent rapport with his audience and showcasing their rock-infused psychedelic doom to terrific effect – and garnering an equally excellent reception.
If Astralnaut are the rising stars of Northern Ireland doom, then Slomatics are one of the scene’s two Spartan-style ruling elite (alongside the colossal War Iron). Their sound is much darker, almost ambient and trance-like, with huge, almost Wagnerian (at least in their intensity), instrumental sections interrupted by seering blasts of blistering brutality.
Get ‘The Future Past’, the Slomatics’ new two-track EP is available for download now, from http://slomatics.bandcamp.com/album/the-future-past
The eagle-eyed in the crowd notice that something is slightly awry as Black Magician take to the stage: their (stand-in) keyboard player missed is flight and is still en route from the airport when the band’s allotted time slot comes around, and the band have no choice to start without him. Fortunately, his gear had travelled with the band, and, when he finally arrives at the venue ten minutes into their set, he is able to sprint the length of the room and join in as if it is the most natural thing in the world to do things this way.
BMs’ sound in very much in the mould of early Cathedral, with elements of late 60s psychedelia and early ‘70s prog (especially when the keyboard eventually kick in), and they perform an impressive, if slightly short set, which is well-received and serves as a more than effective introduction to a band who undoubtedly are going to be a big name on the Uk doom scene in the not too distant future.
‘Nature Is The Devil’s Church’ is available now on Shaman Recordings / Burning World Records.
Black Magician play Fibber Magee’s in Dublin tonight, Saturday February 14th (with War Iron, Electric Taurus and Weeping Ulcer).
They support Mourning Beloveth at The Garage, Highbury, on Saturday June 1st.